Media lesson 出租白人 fully corrected transcript and attempted translation

November 09, 2010, 02:56 PM posted in Transcripts with Tal

ok, well I've fully corrected the transcript, so it should hopefully be more or less error free now.

I have decided to have a crack at translating it as well. Boy, I have even more respect for Jason now. It was tougher than I thought it was going to be but a very interesting exercise all the same which I learnt quite a bit from. I realised that for quite a bit of the time I was really only getting the general gist of things but don't think I've accurately grasped precisely what was being said. Sometimes I was particularly unsure and these areas I've highlighted in red. Interestingly I also found there were times that I felt I did understand it quite well in Chinese but found it hard to translate that faithfully and succinctly in English [this was perhaps for me the greatest revelation]. Sometimes I was trying to drive half way between the literal and the idiomatic which I guess may have led to some somewhat strange English...othertimes I steered closer to one side or the other. Anyway, for what it's worth, here's my shot at it below. I'd love any suggestions on improvements, any insights, or comments in general...all welcome and encouraged.


Media 出租白人

徐洲: 大家好,欢迎大家来到中文播客。今天又是一课媒体课程

Hi everyone, welcome to ChinesePod. Today once again we have a Media lesson.

Connie: 今天呢,我们要来看一个很令人诧异的现象

Today we’ll see [come explore a topic about] a phenomenon that astonishes people.

徐洲: 噢,诧异的现象

oh, astonishing phenomenon

Connie: 嗯,叫做“出租白人”

yeah, called “rent white people”

徐洲: “出租白人”。。它不是出租车或者说出租什么东西,是出租人?  

“rent white people”?’s not rent a car or rent something, it’s rent people?  

Connie: 哦,出租人呢也可以的,呵呵

yeah, renting people you can also do, hehe


actually I knew were talking about this, ah, relatively astonishing phenomenon. I’ve previously read about it in the newspapers and magazines. So the following will help us understand, in the end, what is this “rent white people”? :

Dialogue Plays:


I, a foreigner to China who teaches English at University, on 22nd July received an invitation. The subject of the letter was “travel to Shanxi Province for 3 days free” and also promised “ an opportunity to interact[/exchange ideas] with the Governor of Shanxi, government officials, corporate leaders, and businessmen”
This kind of invitation is fairly commonly seen amongst the expats in Beijing. Many foreigners receive such invitations as it can make operations/connections appear more international. The host will usually provide for the invited guests travel expenses/ arrangements, accommodation, food and beverages, etc, as well as sporting/cultural events. Sometimes they will also give remuneration. This kind of activity is called “face travel” or “renting white people”.  

Dialogue ends。

徐洲: 听了之后我们知道“出租白人”啊它其实,啊,简单的来说。这个提供外国人一个活动的一个机会,然后提供吃喝啊,但是呢,这需要参加一下活动,对吧?

After hearing this we know “renting white people” ,ah, it’s actually, ah, not complicated to talk about.

Connie: 嗯,是雇一些外国人来参加活动,你雇来的这些外国人的这些活动的本身是没有什么关系的

yeah, it’s hiring some foreigners to come and participate in an event. These white folk have no relationship per se to the event they’re hired to come to.    

改 革开放嘛,这是越来越的外国人到中国来,啊,然后呢也有一些跨国公司他们确实是工作需要到中国来参加的一些活动,啊,但是可能有一些公司呢,在国内的公 司,他们需要充场面,对吧?。。没这个朝见,所以去请了一些外国人来假装是他们公司的一些合作伙伴也好然后工作人员也好,对吧?

oh, right, because we know that following that reform that opened China to the outside world [Deng Xiaoping’s policies around 1980] , more and more foreigners have come to China and then we also had some multinational corporations. They really need to come to China for work and participate in these events. But maybe some companies, domestic companies, they need to fill the occasion [ get enough of the right people to come and make the occasion a success...satisfy some requirements],right? ...they can’t get important Chinese dignitaries to come so they go and invite these foreigners to come and pretend to be their companies partners [which is also seen as good?] , and then coming to pretend to be their companies staff which is also seen positively, right?  

Connie:嗯, 这样的是为了面子上面很好看

yeah, it’s this way for the sake of  “face” [? putting on such face looks good]

徐洲: 对啊,充场面啊

right, to satisfy the “face” of the event

Connie: 嗯

en [yeah..grunt of agreement]


ah, so we know actually this phenomenon in China isn’t only for one or two days. We should mention that it’s for a time, right?

Connie: 对,而且我觉得还比较普遍

right, furthermore I think it’s still pretty common.


also controversial. Afterwards everyone has their own comment. So next let us listen, following with this commentary, what she has to say:

2nd Dialogue plays:


“renting white folk” is absolutely Chinese folk cheating fellow Chinese, putting on a show in front of their countrymen. “We foreigners are merely pawns in this game. We’re put in a ridiculous spot in this “mutual exchange” however are perplexed as to why the Chinese still haven’t discovered [this ruse]. Every last foreigner [down to the last one] knows this game is deceitful and are surprised  to find that nothing in the world is stopping it. Ask them how can they not greatly regret it?  


How should we respond to foreigners bewilderment over this? Can we really say to them that this kind of matter in China is reasonable and legal, or call for those for foreigners to “when in Rome, do as the Romans do” ? Actually those foreigners playing the role of puppets are already “doing as the Romans do”[doing as the locals do] , but it’s just that they lack China’s original “doctrine of the mean”. To know the Emperor’s not wearing clothes but not to speak out about it [famous tale].

2nd dialogue ends 3m 7s


oh, her words were very incisive in this part. At the start she was saying that it’s a case of Chinese cheating Chinese, isn’t that so?


oh, she said “renting white people is completely a case of Chinese people cheating Chinese people, Chinese putting on a show in front of Chinese people”


oh, “zuo4xiu4”?

Connie: 这是表演的意思

this means a show

徐洲: 阿,这是纯粹就是一场演出

ah, this is purely a performance

Connie: 嗯



oh “play”

Connie: 你这么做的目的是为了给别人看,表演给大家看

you’re doing it this way for the purpose of the other people who are watching...a performance you’re giving for everyone to watch

徐洲: 哦,那么这个“做秀”它其实好像带有一点点的那个欺骗的意思,对吧?  

oh, so this “putting on a show”, it actually means like involving a bit of deception

Connie: 对的,它是个贬义词

right, this word has a negative connotation


ah, it’s a word with a negative connotation...ok, “zuo a show”, eh, moreover in this essay I think it’s a foreigner she maybe speaking of/ in this section of the essay it’s probably a foreigner who said  “we foreigners are pawns in this game”

Connie: “是游戏的小卒”

a small soldier/pawn in this game

徐洲: 嗯


Connie: 这个“卒”的意思呢是兵,当兵的兵

this “zu2” means soldier, serve in the army type soldier


ah, I know, in Chinese chess they have a piece called “zu2...soldier”

Connie: 嗯,是的,那“小卒”的意思呢,就是小兵,也就是说这个人物不太重要  

yeah, that’s right. that “pawn” means “small soldier”, in other words this character is not too important

4m 03 secs

徐洲:啊, 它的反义词肯定是大将了  

ah, it’s antonym is surely “general”


hehe, right. ah, if you know , ah, your role is not at all important you can say “ I’m merely a pawn, that’s all”

徐洲: 嗯,“小卒”,啊但是那“小卒”啊,确实能够在一些游戏当中啊能够畅通无阻,对吧?  

yeah, “pawn” ,ah but that “pawn” ah , indeed is capable in these games ..can do their thing without interference, right?

Connie: 嗯,“畅通无阻”

oh, “clear and unimpeded”




ah, that is no barrier to your passage

徐洲: 啊,这是畅通没有阻碍

ah, this is unimpeded and without obstruction

Connie: 嗯,很顺利到路当中呢没有阻碍

yeah, very smoothly into the road without obstruction


ah, I...

Connie: 可以行驶的很快

can travel very quickly

4m 30s

徐洲: 嗯,我希望上海的交通啊,有一天能够畅通无阻

yeah, I wish the traffic in Shanghai would be free flowing one day

Connie: 嗯


徐洲: 呵呵


Connie: 那除了形容交通额外你可以形容事情进行得很顺利

so apart from describing traffic, additionally you can also use it to describe affairs progressing very smoothly

徐洲: 啊,对,其实还有那个交流上面也可以,是这样的

oh, right, actually we also have  that “exchange” that was mentioned above that we can also describe in this way

Connie: 啊,对的

ah, right

徐洲: 啊,比如说我们会同一种语言,所以说我们这件交流呢,这是“畅通无阻”的  

ah, for example we can speak the same oral language, therefore we can exchange/communicate...this is “clear and unimpeded”

Connie: 嗯,没错

oh, you’re not wrong [that’s right]

徐洲: 对吧?好的,你看这是连外国人都这么说,所以说,啊,不得不这是让那个中国人都“感慨万千”

right, ok, you see even all foreigners speak like this, thus they say, ah, they’ve got no choice but to render those Chinese full of different emotions

Connie: “感慨万千”

“be filled with different emotions”

徐洲: 嗯


Connie: 那“感慨”的意思呢是当你接触到外界事物后产生的感想啊,想法,感触,等等

that “regret” meaning then is acting as your in touch with something external and then afterwards this gives rise to some reflections, thoughts, feelings, etc

5m 5s

徐洲: 嗯,这里的“感慨”,它其实就是一个感想感触,对吧?

oh, here “lament” ,it’s actually reflections on one’s thoughts and feelings, right?

Connie: 嗯,没错

yeah, right

徐洲: 比较一个程度的一个词语。“万千”这是。。。。非常。。?。。

。。a word expressing relative degree. “ten thousand thousand....10million” this is “extremely”

Connie: 很多很多这样的想法  

very very much this kind of idea

徐洲: “啊,真是太漂亮了,真是太美了。。”

“ah, this really is too pretty, really is too beautiful”

Connie: 嗯,那这里出租白人呢让你感慨万千就是太不可思议了

oh, so here “rent white people” makes you extremely regretful , it’s just too inconceivable

徐洲: 对啊,太不可思议了

right, too inconceivable

Connie: 太令人诧异了

too astonishing

徐洲: 呵呵,啊,是啊,哦但是他那个这段文字当中啊,他也提到了一个词我觉得有些形容也是比较到位的这说什么,那些充当傀儡的外国人  

hehe, ah, yeah, oh but also in this section she mentions a word I think which is somewhat descriptive of what it says , those foreigners acting as puppets.

Connie: 哦,充当傀儡

oh, playing the role of puppets

徐洲: 呵呵


Connie: 听上去很严重

sounds very serious


right, because this word , this is , ah, like has a relatively derogatory sense

Connie: 嗯,是的。那“傀儡”的意思呢是,被人操纵的人

oh, yeah, so “puppet”’s meaning is a person controlled by another person


oh, continuing on we normally see that puppet’s a kind of puppet, right?

Connie: 嗯,他不能按照自己的想法去做而是呢被后面的人指使的,被后面的人操纵的

yeah, he can’t act of his own accord but rather is controlled by a person behind [the fingers of the person behind make him move]


徐洲:  哦,对,一举一动啊,也一个词,一句话,都是被别人,阿,控制住,然后操纵着的

oh, right, one action one movement ah, also even a word, a phrase is all controlled by another person,ah, controller, afterwards controller

Connie: 嗯




Connie: 那,傀儡还经常用在,嗯,政治方面。比如说上以前经常有那种很小很小的皇帝。一般来说都是傀儡皇帝

so puppets are still commonly used in the political sense. For example in the past it was quite common to have some very very young emperors and generally speaking you could say they were puppet emperors.  


oh, right. “puppet”, so in our commentary, this is, some people feel this way, that is those foreigners acting their part are puppets. They’re already following the local customs.  

Connie: 就是早就适应了这样的文化习俗  

exactly already from an early time they’ve adapted to the culture and local customs


oh, this is when you’ve arrived at a place and then adapt to its ways, ah, social customs and habits, right?

Connie: 嗯,但是呢,他们还缺少中国人独有的中庸之道

yeah, but they still lack Chinese people’s original doctrine of the mean


hehe, hey , she here mentions the way of “doctrine of the mean”

Connie: 嗯,讲到“中庸”呢,我们就会想到儒家思想

yeah, talking of doctrine of the mean can make us call to mind Confucian school of thought

徐洲: 对,孔子

right, Confucius

Connie: 嗯,那同时呢,我觉得也是大多数中国人的一种想法

yeah, so at that time I think the majority of Chinese had the same way of thinking

徐洲: 诶,是的。这是不能够太怎么样怎么样,这是一个极端。又不能走另外一个极端

hey, right, this is can’t be too much this way or that, this is an extreme. definitely can’t go to [additional] extremes.

Connie: 嗯,这是做事什么应该不偏不倚不走极端

yeah, this means if your doing something you should have a balanced impartial approach and not go to extremes

徐洲: 哦,这是走这个当中的条路吗?

yeah, this is walking down the middle of the road

Connie: 唉,也把握好这个度啊

hey, get a hold of this standard


ah, thus it’s “doctrine of the mean”. Actually this “yong1” character, actually I think is prettty interesting

Connie: 嗯,它是说你要保持一颗平常心

yeah, it’s saying you must maintain an ordinary mind/keep your mind ordinary

徐洲: 哦,这是做什么事都不要那么地出挑, 不要那么地高调,是吧?

oh, so this is if you do something you mustn’t stick out from the crowd, don’t be high and mighty

Connie: 嗯

徐洲: 中庸之道啊。诶那么我们的听者啊,可能知道这件事以后也是非常诧异,但是可能会问“诶,为什么中国人要这么做呢?”  

doctrine of the mean. hey, so after learning about this our listeners might also be very flabbergasted, however maybe they’ll ask “ hey, why would Chinese people do something like this?”

Connie: 那接下来的一段话就点出了其中的真正的原因 next section of the dialogue brings out a few points in it as to the real root cause.


yeah, ok, let’s listen for a bit:  

7m 32s

3rd dialogue plays:

很 显然,“出租白人”是一种不正常的社会现象,但值得反思的是这种本该在戏剧舞台上出现的事情会出现在现实社会中,而且是畅通无阻。那些活动的主办方难道 不知道这是欺骗?那些官员难道不知道这是不正常的?但在政绩的冲动与利益的诱惑面前,我们可以将良心隐藏,把谎言当实话。如果没有那么多的招商任务,又何 必非得找那么多外商前来?如果没有所谓的国际化情结,又何必在中国的土地上建那么多的欧洲小镇、北美别墅?

quite clearly “renting white folk” is an abnormal kind of societal phenomenon, but it’s worth reflecting that the basis of what we see acted out on the stage in these affairs can appear in real society, and furthermore there are no barriers to it. Can it really be that the hosts of these events don’t know it’s deceitful? ...or that the officials don’t recognise it as abnormal? However in the politically ambitious in the face of enticement we can expect them to bury their conscience. Put up lies as the truth. If you can’t recruit so many business people, then why not just try and find that many foreign businessmen? If you don’t have so called internationalisation complex, again why establish so many European small villages and North American villas on Chinese soil ?

3rd dialogue ends 8m 20s

徐洲: 其实我在那个了解到这个事情,或者说这个现象之后我觉得这是一个非常不正常的一个社会现象。其实我们知道它也是有一定根源的 

actually, understanding about this affair, or rather this phenomenon ,I now feel it’s an extremely abnormal societal phenomenon. Actually I also know it has a definite cause.  

Connie: 那在这段评论里面我们也可以看到她觉得是官员在政绩的冲动与利益的诱惑前面,将良心隐蔽,把谎话当作实话。

so in this section of the commentary we also can see she thinks the government officials are motivated to achieve a good track record, and are attracted to the benefits that arise from that and thus will suppress their conscience, thus putting up lies as truth.


hey, this is somewhat deliberately setting out to deceive folk  

Connie: 嗯


8m 45s

徐洲: 嗯,诶那么这里谈到一个“政绩”是什么呢?

yeah, hey, so here were we talk about “zheng4ji4..political achievements”...what’s that?

Connie: 哦,这是官员的业绩

oh, this is government officials performance


oh, this is their past political track record, right?

Connie: 对,你官员在这一年当中他做了什么有什么样的成就

right, it’s what your government official has done and accomplished during this year.

徐洲: 嗯,那么这个“政绩”其实更多的是指在政府里面做事的人

yeah, so actually this “political track record” even more refers to government workers

Connie: 嗯,没错

yeah, not wrong

9m 2s

徐洲: 诶,啊,好的,那么后面她还有一句,我们可以将良心隐藏。我觉得这个真的是不可取啊,呵呵  

hey, ah, ok, so after that she also has a phrase, “we can expect the conscience to be hidden”. I really don’t think this is desirable, hehe

Connie: 呵呵,那这里提到的“良心”呢,其实是人的一种基本道德观

hehe, so here “conscience” is mentioned hey. Actually it’s one of man’s fundamental virtues


oh, a fundamental kind of principle, right?

Connie: 嗯,这是你对是非啊,善恶的一个认识

yeah, this is your understanding of right and wrong, good and bad

徐洲: 诶,是的。我们经常会听到,诶你怎么这么说啊你真没良心?

hey, yeah. we’ll often hear, “hey , how can you talk like that ?, you really don’t have any conscience”


ah, this is too lacking in morality

徐洲:呵呵, 诶,是啊。我觉得小的时候我的爸爸妈妈也这样跟我说过啊,“啊给你吃啊,给你穿,然后也不听话,你不好好学习,你真没良心”

hehe, hey, yeah. I think when I was a kid my parents would also speak to me this way, “oh boy, we give you food ,we clothe you, and despite this you’re still don’t do as your told! don’t study really have no conscience!”




didn’t your folks also talk to you like that?

Connie: 没有




Connie: 因为我很听话

..because I was very obedient

徐洲: 噢,那说明你还是很有良心的。好的,诶,那么,啊,她这里啊,其实不是说到把良心隐藏啊。他其实还有一个情结,是把?这是国际化情结

oh, so that explains why you still have a very strong conscience. ok, hey, so, ah, here she actually isn’t talking about burying your conscience but rather she’s actually talking about a complex, right? This is internationalisation complex.

Connie: 嗯,是的。那“情结”的意思呢是深藏在心底的感情

mm, yeah. By “complex” it means to deeply conceal feelings at the bottom of your heart.  

徐洲: 诶,那么究竟什么是“国际化情结”呢?

hey, so actually what is “Internationalisation complex” then ?

Connie: 这是太特别钟情于国际化,特别喜欢一些跟国际化有关的事物

this is when you too dearly hold Internationalisation as special, to be especially fond of all things related to internationalisation.

up to 10m 5s

徐洲: 诶,这好像,啊,什么都是国外的比国内的好

hey, this seems ,ah,to take the attitude that whatever is foreign is better than domestic

Connie: 那我们平时可能也听到各种各样的情结,比如说公主情结啦,思乡情结啦,恋母情结啦,等等

so we also might regularly hear of all kinds of complexes, for example “princess complex” , “homesick complex”, “Oedipus complex”, etc  

徐洲: 就是它所有的感情会以那些东西为寄托,是把?对。。

to be precise, in all these complexes there is the feeling that they want to place their hope in these things/be taken care of by these things

Connie: 特别喜爱那一方面的东西  

especially like that aspect of those things

徐洲: 对某一类东西的非常的向往,非常的喜爱

strongly yearn for something, love it

Connie: 啊,对,没错

ah ,right, sure

徐洲: 诶,那么我们ChinesePod的听众是不是多有中文情结?

hey, so do our ChinesePod listeners have Chinese complex?

Connie: 啊,也许吧,呵呵

ahh, perhaps, hehe

徐洲: 诶,好的。我们说的那么多的情结,哦,但是在我们的评论当中文,这是啊作者也提到了。如果没有所谓的这是我们刚才这样的“国际化情结”又
何必做那些,这是没有意义的事情。比如说像什么啊,做那么多欧洲小镇啊,北美别墅之类的。 她这里提到个一个“何必”

hey, ok. We’ve spoken of so many complexes, eh, but in our commentary the author also mentions that if it’s not this so called Internationalisation complex we’ve just been talking about then why do those things?’s a meaningless affair. for example, looking like something, producing so many European villages and North American villas and so on. Here she mentions “he2bi4”

Connie: 嗯,这个“何必”呢,它一般是用反问的语气来表示不必。。。不必要这么做。啊,其实翻译起来有点像“为什么”的意思

oh, this “he2bi4” then, it’s generally used with a rhetorical tone to express “need not” ..unnecessary to do it this way. ah, actually it translates a little bit like “why”


徐洲: 啊啊,就是有点反问的意思

aah, somewhat rhetorical

Connie: 嗯


徐州: 比如说Connie啊,我知道你是一个素食主义者,哦,但是何必有点

for example, “Connie, we know you’re a vegetarian, ah, so why have you ordered so many meat dishes then ?

Connie: 是个很好的例子,呵呵

‘tis a very good example, hehe

徐洲: 呵呵,我没说错吧?

hehe, I’m not wrong hey ?

Connie: 嗯


徐洲:好的, 诶,那么我们的话题呢,也回到我们出租白人上,啊,那么接下去呢还有一些评论让我们一起来听一下:  

ok, hey, so getting back to our “rent a white person” subject , ah, following we’ve got some more commentary to go listen to:  

4th dialogue starts at 11m 20s


“renting white people” makes one call to mind when you see those swindling “medical experts” and “fitness experts” showing off on tv; they’re all the same; “pull/tear the tigers skin, draw a large banner” [to make false claims in order to achieve something]..they all have all sorts of halos on top of their heads [ they all cover themselves in glory by claiming certain titles] or claim some sort of expertise, or claim to be some great master, or supernatural entity/god/demigod. From this I [the author] think perhaps our society indeed needs these swindlers to exist, otherwise why is it that there is still a market for these cheats?


I pretend to be an expert, your pretend to be a master, and he pretends to be confused. Really in the end we the common folk are only cheated [as long as we allow it/ by ourselves?]

4th dialogue ends at 12m 12s


hey, ok, in this section, actually there are a lot of interesting expressions, however generally speaking I think this section is basically satire

Connie: 她是由出租白人这个现象了影响到很热的一些其他方面的欺骗,比如说养生专家,医学专家等等

she goes from this “rent white people” phenomenon topic to influence [affect our way of looking at?] [or we are being influenced by these swindlers?] to very hot[popular] other ways/aspects of cheating, such as fitness experts, medical experts, etc

12m 28s

徐洲: 哦,也还有前段日子好像很多的种专家出来  

oh, also in the first part [of this section..or of one’s life..when you’re born?] it seems like a lot of specialists appear  

Connie: 嗯,她说自己那是养生方面的专家,但是呢却告诉观众一些很可笑的做法

yeah, she says you should be your own expert in looking after your health, but tells the audience [we the listeners/ readers] some very funny [satire] ways of going about it

徐洲: 诶,结果呢,都是被查出来的好像都是以行骗为目的的,是吧?

hey, so the result then, is to discover that it seems we all should have a cheating purpose, right?

Connie: 嗯,都是招摇撞骗的

yeah, all are posing as important people


posing as important people

12m 45s

Connie: 那你就是假借名义到处炫耀进行欺骗

so you falsify a title to make it known you have credentials in order carry out your cheating


yeah, ok, “posing as important people” , and furthermore she not only says she poses as someone important, but also does something called “pulling the tigers skin to pull a large banner”, right?

Connie: 这个听上去很逗吧

this sounds very funny


hehe, yeah, yeah

Connie: 扯虎皮拉大旗

“pull tiger skin, pull big banner [ to make false claims in order to achieve something]”



13m 02s

Connie: 它和“狐假虎威”那个意思是差不多的

that expression and “fox exploits the tigers might [to use powerful connections to intimidate people]” have roughly the same meaning


hey, you think this is the same  as that “tiger skin ..grabbing it and accomplishing a banner”..”pull the tiger skin, do a big banner”

Connie: 啊,也这是吹得很厉害,但是呢却是欺骗的

ah, also this is blowing to the max [bragging big time], but it’s cheating

徐洲: 诶,这是你看到它好像这是非常的厉害,非常的啊名头,啊非常多,但其实他根本就是一个行骗的人

hey, this is your way of looking at it and it seems you think its extremely radical, extraordinarily taking on false appelations, and many other wild things you could attribute to such behaviour, but basically it’s just plain cheating folk

Connie: 嗯,她完全就是在骗别人。这样的就叫做扯虎皮拉大旗

yeah, she’s totally cheating people. Acting like this is called “pulling the tiger to pull a big banner”


hey, furthermore those various experts of whatever, they for the most part are something,ah, can see the such and such of such and such a hostpital,  ..head doctor of such and such a hospital, health experts and so on.

13m 36s

Connie: 嗯,就她头顶着各种各样的光环

yeah, so she covers herself in all kinds of glory/honorifics

徐洲: 诶,是的是的。头顶着各种各样的光环

hey, yeah yeah. all kinds of halos on top of her head

Connie: 她的头衔很多  

she has many titles

徐洲: 诶,头衔什么职位职称之类的,或是噢也是什么获奖者获奖人之类的啊。那么我们作者还有也提到了这是有很多人什么假装专家,假装大师,是吧是一种什么故作糊涂     

hey, the title of such and such a post and so on, or some prize winner [such as a nobel laurette] and so on. So our author still mentions that their are a lot of people feigning to be experts, pretend to be masters, and there’s even a kind who pretend to be confused.

Connie: 啊,也这是故意中很糊涂

ah, also this is deliberately “muddled”

14m 0s

徐洲: 但是啊,到头来怎么样欺骗的还是平头百姓,对吧?

however in the end, how about cheating the common folk, right?

Connie: 嗯,那“到头来的”意思这是到最后结果是怎么样的

yeah, so “in the end” means what is the final outcome did things finally turn out

徐洲: 嗯

Connie: 一般呢,是用在比较坏的方面

generally this expression is used in relatively negative situations

徐洲: 啊,比如说?

ah, for example?

Connie: 比如说“努力了半天到头来却是一场空”

for exampe, “you tried really hard for half a day but in the end it was all in vain”

徐洲: 啊,比如说“我追了她好几年可是到头来。。。

ah, for example “ I chased her for several years but in the end...”

Connie: 。。。她却成了别人的新娘

..she ended up becoming someone else’s bride

徐洲: 啊,到头来还是以失败收场。好的,诶,那么我们后面还有什么“平头百姓”。诶,这个称呼我也觉得很可爱

ah “ in the end” is used when you’ve failed in the end. ok, hey, so after that we’re still left with this expression “level heads hundred surnames....the common folk”. hey, I think this appellation is very cute

Connie: 啊,听上去好像这些百姓呢,都是剃平头的

ah , sounds like these common people all shave their heads to a crewcut

徐洲: 啊,是的,呵呵,头发很短,是吧?

ah, yeah, hehe, the hair’s very short, isn’t it?

Connie: 嗯,那“平头百姓”的意思呢,这是普通人,普通老百姓

yeah, so “flat head 100 surnames” means this is the ordinary person in the street, the common people

徐洲: 哦,这是最最普通的老百姓,嗯

mm, yeah , this is the most most common of the ordinary people

Connie: 嗯,平常人

yeah, common people

徐洲: 好的。啊我们说啊,出租白人说小了,它是一个非常小的一个不合理的不正常的一个现象。其实说大了她还是一个什么?这是真个社会啊诚信缺失的一个缩影     

ok, so we’re saying these  “rented white people” don’t speak much, and it’s  really ?small, unreasonable and abnormal phenomenon.  Actually does she say a lot or what? This really is a microcosm of societies real shortcomings.

Connie: 啊,一个“缩影”;缩小的缩;影子的影

ah, a “microcosm”, “reduce..suo1xiao3 de suo1” and “reflection ..ying3zi de ying”

徐洲: 诶


15m 0s

Connie: 啊,也就是这么小的一个东西呢,它却可以代表同一类型的所有事物

this small a thing that however can represent the same kind of thing

徐洲: 唉,或者说啊他某一个概念它可以代表。啊整个一个设计的一个规划  

hey, or it could say, represent a certain concept, even an entire plan of a project

Connie: 可以反映出整个现象

it could mirror an entire phenomenon

徐洲: 诶“缩影”,那么,其实我觉得在我们今天这个媒体文章最后的这句话,我觉得是点出了她的中心的意思。这是“出租的是白人的面孔,可丢掉的却是中国人的尊严”。 我觉得说的相当有道理。那Connie你是不是同意这个观点?   

hey, “microcosm” , so , actually I think the final sentence in  todays media article the central point comes out. This is when you rent white peoples faces, Chinse people really lose their dignity. I think she’s speaking a lot of sense. So Connie, do you agree with this point of view?   

15m 30s

Connie: 非常同意

..absolutely agree

徐洲: 啊


Connie: 我觉得作者把我想要说的都说了

I think the author has said all I would have like to have said


hehe, hey, I think studying todays media lesson will really make people reflect on this topic

Connie: 嗯,虽然看得时候哦觉得很可笑,但是呢,我觉得这是一个很沉重的话题

yeah, although when you see it you think it’s very funny,I think it’s a really serious topic


hey, ok, moreover at the same time I also think by means of this phenomenon we can also explain some Chinese or Chinese companies why they lack self confidence. Or you could say culturally we are lacking in confidence.

Connie: 嗯,有一些自卑心理

yeah, somewhat a feeling of inferiority


徐洲: 诶,是的是的。 好的,那么不知道我们的听众对这个现象有什么感想,或者说你有没有真实的参加过类似的活动呢?

hey, yeah yeah. ok, so I don’t know what our listeners think of this phenomenon or whether any of them have really participated in any similar events

Connie: 都欢迎到我们的论坛上面来告诉我们。最后我也希望大家能自信起来  

you’re all welcome to come on the boards and tell us. Finally, I’d also like to wish everyone have more self confidence

徐洲: 哦,是的。那么我也希望类似的这个现象越来越少。好的,那么我们今天的课就道这里结束了

oh, yeah. So I’d also like to express that I hope we see less and less of such phenomenon. ok, so our lesson for today finishes here


see you all next time

徐洲: 再见          

good bye

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November 11, 2010, 05:20 AM

Wow Baba. You've gone and done what I've said I would be doing (about a year ago now  (>_<) ...).

This should be so helpful for someone who would like to follow this Media lesson but maybe isn't yet at the Advanced level. What an amazing effort. I look forward to reading through. cheers

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thanks heaps zhen, but when you read my translation effort you won't be so impressed, hehe. In retrospect, I tried to drive a line between literal and idiomatic and I don't think it worked so well. I think I should have either done both [ but I'm feeling a bit lazy now to go back and do know..when you think you've finished and I've now come up for air it's kinda nice, hehe] or just gone with pure idiomatic [which is what I think I'd be inclined to do in future..though in doing so, sometimes it's hard to get all of the Chinese meaning in there...though it is thought to be more telegraphic, I felt like there were times where I could have actually gotten more to the point, ie been more succinct in English, as some of the Chinese seemed to have some redundant bits] . That's not to say there weren't plenty of sections where it wasn't going to come out well no matter how I did it. I look forward to any feedback/suggestions you may be kind enough to offer. Cheers :)

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Baba just so you know, I always prefer the idiomatic myself, for translation output. I think it's just that with Chinese and English sometimes the literal does happen to work. Did you feel as you were working that even if going one way (idiomatic) for much of a translation was best, literal seemed the only way to go for certain bits (partly because, as we know, some things in Chinese are never said in English and vice versa = no idiomatic equivalent in the output language)? If so I can totally empathize.

* OK I've just posted the first teeny bit. Still impressed! Guess we probably won't agree on some of this stuff. I'm slowly but surely going through your work, with much interest, and respect.

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"Did you feel as you were working that even if going one way (idiomatic) for much of a translation was best, literal seemed the only way to go for certain bits (partly because, as we know, some things in Chinese are never said in English and vice versa = no idiomatic equivalent in the output language)?"

yes exactly ! I totally agree with you [very insightful of you as're very perceptive there's no doubt]. If I were to bother going over it again, I would switch to full idiomatic. But as you say there were times when I knew just what they were saying in Chinese and I felt I knew how to translate that to idiomatic English but I felt then that I was leaving stuff out and I didn't want to short change anyone who may want to read. But I think in future I would try and just stick to idiomatic [even if it seemed to be leaving stuff out...actually I think there were times when I did do that to a certain extent...I was often a bit torn]. Also the times I felt like being a bit literal I realised it wasn't lending to good English grammar wise, though it still seemed to make perfect sense to me,hehe. Yeah, idiomatic in will seem smoother and I guess it will show how to go from the literal to the idiomatic. A learnt a lot in this regard from the exercise. I'm really looking forward to going through your feedback. Thanks heaps zhen for going to the trouble. :)

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November 15, 2010, 11:34 AM

Some thoughts I had on your translation, just the opening bit for now, sorry I'm incredibly slow. Unfortunately now there seems to be a (very new!) limit on the number of chars per comment, so I'm having to split this little section up as well ...

Connie: 今天呢,我们要看一个很令人诧异现象

Today we’ll see [come explore a topic about] a phenomenon that astonishes people.
this 来 I wouldn't interpret as "come"; for this 来+V, I would say "am going to V". "Going to" as in now, not in a while.
Of course "that astonishes people" isn't wrong; just want to mention we could say "an astonishing".
And we're having this conversation on what 诧异 is closest to in English. I get the feeling it's subtlely different from astonishment.

徐洲: 噢,诧异的现象

oh, astonishing phenomenon

Connie: 嗯,叫做“出租白人”

yeah, called “rent white people"
Wonder if "rent-a-white person" is inappropriate, in particular for the lesson title.

徐洲: “出租白人”。。它不是出租车或者说出租什么东西,是出租人?  

“rent white people”?’s not rent a car or rent something, it’s rent people?  
think I'd say something like "Rent-a-white person"? Not renting a car, or some other thing, but renting a person, is that right?

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"Wonder if "rent-a-white person" is inappropriate, in particular for the lesson title."

Could be. Dunno. Why do you think it's inappropriate? What do you think would be more appropriate? I guess this is an exception...I case where I like to go for the literal because then you can see how the Chinese put it. Also I'm not aware of this phenomenon in the west. I guess idiomatic could be "rent a white guy" or "hire a white guy" . We have a service here called "hire a hubby" which is the closest I can think of. It does sound politically incorrect though ...I agree there...but we're just going for translation..not adding our own commentary.

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I guess because as you say there isn't any corresponding phenomenon in the English-speaking world, also because I thought it might sound a tad too cute. I see your reason for deciding on the literal here. I think I would still go for a bit more idiomatic English in this case, in order to make the incongruity of the "white person" in a 出租 situation clearer at once. Not saying I'm urging to you to make a change here, just saying if this were me translating this lesson.

What did you mean by your last sentence? I agree that we're translating and not adding commentary, but this is why it's kind of an art, right? There's always interpretation involved in the process, and different people will have different feels and takes on any given line or phrase. As you've already expressed above, I think some sacrifice is unavoidable.

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November 15, 2010, 11:39 AM

Connie: 哦,出租人呢也可以的,呵呵

yeah, renting people you can also do, hehe


actually I knew were talking about this, ah, relatively astonishing phenomenon. I’ve previously read about it in the newspapers and magazines. So the following will help us understand, in the end, what is this “rent white people”? :
What David's saying he knows here--he's saying "I know about this (= actually it isn't my first time to hear of this) phenomenon you're talking about".
比较 I've noticed from listening to the native speakers in the podcasts often seems to be a qualifier of adjectives close to "pretty" or "quite", "rather". Of course it often means "relatively" too. In instances such as here I think it's more like "quite" or "rather".
那么接下来 is like "Okay then, now ~"
让我们~  is let's ~.
到底什么是……?  I think you can pretty much always just translate as "just what is ...?", "just what exactly is ...?".
so I think I'd say something like:  Actually, I do know about this um, rather astonishing (maybe "bizarre"--?) phenomenon you're talking about. I've seen it before, in newspapers and magazines. Well OK, so now let's find out a bit shall we, just what exactly is "rent-a-white person"?
I thought "seen" rather than "read" for 看到, I think "read" here sounds too much like he seriously read up the articles on the subject (he could have though, I guess ...). "A bit" here is awkward in the English, guess that can go. Maybe say let's learn a little about what exactly "rent-a-white person" is. We have a few options at our disposal.